Pink will be in style this month. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many Americans will be displaying pink ribbons or wearing pink apparel to draw attention to the second leading cause of death among women in this country.
The American Cancer Society says nearly 80 percent of all breast cancer cases involve women who are 50 or older. It is also estimated that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer sometime during their lives
Chances are you know someone who has or has had breast cancer. Early detection and new treatment options may have saved their lives. In fact, physicians say early detection is vital for lowering the mortality rates for the disease.
Local health officials would like to see the mortality rate for breast cancer cut in half in the Tri-Cities over the next decade. To make it happen, volunteers have focused on getting women to do three important things: Schedule regular mammograms, have a clinical breast exam once a year and conduct self-exams every month.
Health care officials encourage women in risk groups to make an appointment this month for a mammogram. Such screening is believed to be the single most effective method of early detection. That’s why county health departments across Tennessee provide vouchers for free mammograms to women who meet certain income guidelines.
For information on these free mammograms, contact the National Cancer Institute at 800-422-6237.